NROTC Essay, what do you think?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by jbrichmond22, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. jbrichmond22

    jbrichmond22 Member

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    As you know, for my NROTC application, i am required to write two essays. The first essay is really the only one I would like you guys to review. My only reason for this, is that I do not want it to sound selfish or anything of that nature. This essay question really hit home with me. Lots of family who have gone through the Navy, SEALS, Aviators, Nuclear Engineers, you name it. I just tried to write why I really want to become a Naval Officer, and why it means a lot. Please help me, criticize me, do whatever it takes to make it better. I want it to be me though, and I want the person who reads it to know who I am and what I stand for, and how that relates to me wanting to become a Naval Officer. I just want them to be able to somewhat "connect" with me.

    Discuss your reasons for wanting to become a Naval Officer. (Limit 2500 characters)

    Life is all about chances, some you take, some you don’t. Some chances you wish you had taken and others that you wish you hadn’t; and don’t forget about the chances you dream of taking. One chance I dream of being able to take is the chance to become a Naval Officer. Getting to be an officer in the strongest Navy on earth, and serve the greatest country in the world, would be one chance that I would give up anything to take. In my life, showing strong integrity is a code that I live by; I eat, sleep, and breathe this code. As a Naval Officer, showing your integrity is essential. It is what makes you stand out in a crowd, or what makes you strong when others become weak. I am personally all about being a strong willed, strong hearted, and all around strong man. With this comes the strong desire to win and be the best at all I do, whether it’s football, baseball, hockey, or school. Getting to become a Naval Officer is a chance to not only make myself stronger, but to strengthen those around me, as well as the men and women I would potentially lead into combat.

    I could go on forever about why I want to become a Naval Officer, I could list reasons that don’t even make sense, it’s just something I want so bad, I could sit around all day thinking of reasons why I want it and what having it would be like. Along with my strong code of ethics and integrity, I am all about being a leader. I want people to know who I am, to know what I stand for, and to know how strong physically and mentally I am. I want them to look up to me, to respect me, to fear me, to use me as an example of how a person should act. Having the chance to be a Naval Officer would mean that all of the things I listed above would be a daily routine for me. I would get to be a leader, even when I didn’t think I could be. I would get to make decisions that I didn’t think I could make, decisions that could potentially save lives or even change the way people think. My opportunities are limitless if I got the chance to become a Naval Officer, and only as a Naval Officer does this chance to have unlimited opportunities present itself. This is one of those chances that not everyone gets to take, one of those chances you stop wishing you could take, but a chance you will take; no matter what gets in the way. The chance to be a Naval Officer, and lead men and women into combat, and help them better themselves inside of the Navy and out, is what drives me to work my hardest and excel in all that I do.

    TOTAL CHARACTERS (spaces included): 2,495/2,500.



    Thanks in advance guys.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  2. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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    You'll get a lot of input from folks who know a great more about this than I do. I haven't served in the military, didn't "do" ROTC, etc; what I've learned I've learned through a daughter now at TAMU's Corps of Cadets. Writing and reading are personal endeavors - what connects with one isn't what connects with another. I'd suggest having a friend read the essay, out loud - first to themselves. Have 'em mark it up with a red pen etc. Then have somebody read it out loud to you - does it make sense to you. My hunch, based on abject ignorance, is that readers/reviewers want to get a sense of you. 2,500 characters isn't a lot of space. Review, edit, and then review and edit several more times. If you read "Lincoln's Sword" you can see how he would edit his documents / speeches. Spell check is fine, but to spell check "red" is fine, even though you meant "read". My hunch, the reviewers may be looking for a personal connecttion - by that I mean something in your 'story' which connects you to your desire to serve in the naval forces of the United States. Good luck. Lawman32RPD
     
  3. jbrichmond22

    jbrichmond22 Member

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    Appreciate it LAWMAN. One more question I may ask, is it okay to veer away from the typical multi-paragraph essay? For example, Microsoft Word tells me it is 2,500 characters, but when I put it into the Essay section of the application, it says that it is too long. If I put it all together, into one large paragraph, it fits. Is this okay? Or will they deduct points from me for an incorrect format?
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Here's my question to you:

    Have you counted the I's in your essay?

    I counted 23. That does not include myself and me's (my count is 12)...35 times! I, me, myself is all I got it from it, not Navy. You talk about multiple family members in the Navy, ten will get you twenty, they will say SERVICE BEFORE SELF and I, me, myself would not be in every sentence.
    Hope that helps.

    OBTW, grammar will be a factor, and if you follow essay rules laid out by your English teacher. You should have an opening paragraph, defending paragraphs, and closing paragraph.

    You will be angry with me, but honestly your essay is filled with no substance, lots of what is in it for me. Nowhere do you place Navy first. Think about this, they want people that place Navy 1st.

    OBTW if you took that essay to your APENG/LIT teacher, I am willing to bet 100 bucks that they will agree with me regarding the redundancy of I, me, myself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  5. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD Member

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    I don't know whether they will want one long paragraph or a couple of separate ones. There are others who know about those technical issues than I do. That said, my hunch, doesn't matter as much. My hunch, they are looking for well written and reasoned essays.
     
  6. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    jbrichmond

    sent you a pm about your essay
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    What you call chances, most of us would call opportunity.
    You want people to fear you? Really?
     
  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    jbrichmond22: I am not going to take on an editor role here, but I would like to offer some commentary that you and others who are working on their applications can benefit from.

    An essay addressing the reasons you want to become a Naval Officer can be extremely tough for someone who has probably not had too much exposure to the very role they are discussing. For this reason, answering a simple question like this can really separate one individual from another. I encourage you to seek advice from a wide range of viewpoints. The fact that you have a family who is familiar with the military should really help you pin down a good response to this question. But seek the advice of others as well.

    In your post, you stated the desire to connect with the reader yet your essay is filled with a lot of catch phrases and hyperbole that prevent that from happening. From my perspective, your opening sentence in each paragraph feels contrived and "cute". A great writer can probably generate a compelling essay with those openings but I just didn't feel you accomplished that level of polish with this version.

    Like Pima, I picked up on the use of a lot of personal pronouns. I acknowledge that the question asks you to discuss the reasons you want to become a Naval Officer and that this, by definition, calls for a personal response. However, the approach I recommend is similar to the one Pima suggests. Write a personal response but with a much greater focus on the needs of the Navy. It is not as tricky as it sounds (tough but not tricky) but this will definitely show an understanding of how the military community views the subject.

    I will make one comment on a phrase you had in your essay regarding wanting people to "fear" you. I have to admit I cringed on the use of that word. I am sure you didn't mean it but no military leader wants to lead by fear or intimidation. This comment flies in the face of what true leadership is all about. I highly recommend you rework this part of your essay.

    I feel that your essay had some good thoughts that need to be developed further and rewritten from a different perspective. I wouldn't worry too much about formatting. Others may have a stronger opinion on this and I would weigh their comments accordingly.

    Best of luck!
     
  9. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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    I'm not quite sure how to respond... I like your essay, but I found it a little naive and overly gung-ho. Let me explain that --

    The officers who read your essay have been serving for years. They know the great, good, OK, and completely stupid parts of military life. And believe me, Naval Officers don't shy away from criticizing things among themselves about their own performance, the performance of those around them, government decisions, etc. These Officers reading your essay are still serving long after the point of voluntary separation, so on balance serving for them is on the good or great side of the ledger. They chose NOT to go into civilian work, but to continue serving as officers. Many of the statements in your essay sound like a guy who met a girl at summer camp and is head over heels in... crush, in infatuation. There is nothing to substantiate a more mature love or attraction, since you don't really know a person you met at summer camp very well at all.

    When you re-write your essay, try not to sound like a the Navy is your summer camp girlfriend. Try to come up with specific things you like about the Navy, and about having sailors under your command, and why you like those specific things. It is OK to be selfish sometimes. There's nothing wrong with saying you like the feeling you have when people look up to you. Be human. Maybe you love submarines, or aircraft, or really big boats, or Nuclear reactors. Try to find something specific that connects you to your dream of being a Naval Officer. Maybe you became a supervisor at your local ice cream shop, and you find you really like helping to train new workers, that training others is satisfying and comes naturally to you. Think of real things in your life to mention.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012

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